Bars and restaurants in bustling Penwortham are battling on during the coronavirus crisis to make sure boom doesn’t turn to bust.
But for the latest arrival on the town’s thriving high street the timing just couldn’t have been worse.
No 16 On The Hill only opened its doors at the weekend - on Friday the 13th - and like others in the food and drink trade the fear is they could soon be ordered to shut up shop.
“It’s terrible timing,” said owner Anthony Anderson who also runs the Sir Tom Finney pub in the town. “It’s just a matter of taking it day by day.
“It’s quite worrying for us with all the investment we have put into No 16. But we have been working on the refurb of the bar since late December, so we were too far down the road to pull out when this news broke.”
Anthony’s bar had only been open for less than four days when Prime Minister Boris Johnson went on national TV urging the British public to avoid crowded pubs and restaurants.
For thousands of businesses it was a real hammer blow and, while most are soldiering on in the hope they can ride out the storm, there are real fears some could go to the wall, despite Government promises of financial backing.
Next door to No 16, the owners of 1260 Craft and Crust have launched a pizza and drinks takeaway and delivery service for customers who may be nervous about crowded bars during the virus alert.
And neighbours Bread and Butter have also started offering a take out service.
Other bars and eateries in Penwortham, including the Lime Bar, are following suit and defiantly staying open until they are ordered to close up by either the Government or NHS England.